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After first injecting himself at Oscorp, Curt created his own lab in the sewer system later in the movie. If he was the head of the lab at Oscorp, couldn't he have just kept everyone out of the lab (he had already done this previously) and done all of his testing there, instead of doing it in the sewer?

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True - I feel it is just a superhero movie trope, villains needing a secret lair and all. That said, this film shares a similar theme with The Dark Night trilogy. Nolan has stated that the first film is set in the rooftops, the second at street level and the third underground. Spidey has the same feel - Oscorp high up, Parker's general life on the ground, nemesis underground... –  Nobby Jul 9 '12 at 17:49
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Kurt Conners funding was cut, hopefully meaning that the lab was shut down. Also some reptiles are water loving / moisture loving creatures so I would imagine this could have a next reason to do with it. Then he was doing the experiments, he couldn't change into the creature on the 20th floor (or where ever it was) and try to leave the building. Finally the sewer was connected to most buildings as noted by him attacking the school where Peter was. –  phwd Jul 9 '12 at 21:07
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The Lizard often retreats to the sewers, lives in the sewers in his appearances in the comic "The Amazing Spider-Man".

One of the more famous Lizard storyline The Gauntlet has him trying to get humans to act like Lizards, turn them into lizards. He does this whilst hiding in the sewer.

Practically this is useful for a reptile who likes wet/humid conditions whilst also eliminating to some degree Spider-Man's main asset which is his agility given the cramped confines. It also allows him to navigate the city quickly without drawing attention to his form.

The current story arc in the Amazing Spider-Man, which start in issue 688 (I think) features the Lizard who is found living in the sewer.

So I think the film was trying to replicate the character from the comic for those comic fans out there, like myself.

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